Michael Knopf Guitar Passion with Suncoast Sinfonia
An afternoon of Mozart, English composer Warlock and Schubert's Symphony in D , performed by an outstanding regional orchestra is enough to fill anyone's cultural plate ; but to experience that same orchestra performing the quintessential guitar concerto by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-lobos is a musical buffet all its own.
Conductor Graeme Young is currently taking the orchestra through its paces rehearsing four major works for its concert "The Passion of the Guitar" to be presented Sunday November 14th at 2:30 p.m. at St. Mark's Anglican Church Main Street in Buderim. The highlight of the afternoon will be the performance by the Sunshine Coast's premier guitarist Michael Knopf of the Villa Lobos concerto which, Michael says, "conveys the original spirit of its Brazilian composer, who was both a cellist and a traditional and classical guitarist." " Villalobos contributed greatly to the expansion of repertoire for the modern classical guitar, and his concerto is uniquely idiomatic." Michael explained.
Michael Knopf is a guitarist who has taken many musical journeys. He started playing when he was ten in the U.S. midwest, taught by his mother to play simple chords, proudly strumming his Stella guitar to the tune of Red River Valley. He then discovered Cream and Jimi Hendrix and played hard rock with his brother and best friend taking Claptonish 10 minute solos at the bands' high-school dance gigs.
He then got serious and decided to formally study Jazz after hearing a recording of Wes Montgomery provided by his high-school music teacher, and deciding that music was far too important not to apply one's self to it. Whilst sweating through the hours of patient practice working on tedious melodic exercises, jazz books and memorizing Jazz standards, Michael also taught himself classical guitar repertoire and technique . He studied with Jerry Hahn, a true innovator on the guitar, and composition and theory lessons piqued his interest in contemporary art music. He left the U.S. for the Caribbean where he quietly and informally studied Flamenco music, and after returning briefly to the States, he traveled to Oz .
Michael has pursued multiple careers as a music educator, jazz musician, soloist and composer/arranger. His compositions have been performed in Australia, the U.S., Canada, Japan, China, & Switzerland. His arrival in the Brisbane surrounds will see him performing his unique style on both classical and arch-top jazz guitars.
Sunday's concert will be the first opportunity for Michael to perform on his new 7 string instrument, created by guitar luthier Alan Bull of Brisbane. "This guitar was built to compliment my own physicality,' Michael says, " and it has a wonderful, individual sound.."
Tickets for the event can be purchased from The Nambour Civic Centre ticket office or at the door at $22 adult and $18 concession.
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